This is probably the most unprofessional about me you’ll ever read. Enjoy. This post is 100% unedited to allow my true and untouched thoughts to hit the page.
I was born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, on February 2, 2000. My parents are Jamie and Chris Miller, my brother is Christopher 24, and sister is Abigail. The family I was born into was nothing less than perfect. My parents and grandparents allowed me to pursue things I enjoyed doing, while directing me in the right path.
From the beginning, my parents knew I was destined to be a writer, even if they didn’t know the specific career I’d end up in. When I was between the ages of 5 and 7, I wrote a story called “Mouse House,” which was a story about a mouse and his family living in a big ol’ house, just as the title would suggest. My mother knew, even though the grammar skills I possessed at this age were god awful, that I would one day pursue this passion of writing. In the 4th grade, after I was invited to write for my elementary school’s newspaper, The KL Flyer, my dream to write began to flourish. I can look back and admit that this small, one day a week job really guided me in the direction of journalism, instead of traditional literature writing.
I continued to excel in my english and reading classes all the way through grade school, placing advanced on my PSSA (a ridiculous state wide standardized test). I took up honors english classes in my freshman and sophomore years of high school, which really changed my outlook on writing. My freshman english teacher (who was also my AP english literature and composition teacher in senior year) and my sophomore english teacher (who was my journalism mentor for my junior and senior years) pushed me to excel in the field they knew I loved so much. I was assigned books to read and essays to write above the average level and was encouraged to join the journalism class. I can truly and honestly say that these two teachers alone ignited a passion inside me that will continue to push me in the direction of my dreams. Mrs. Jeffries and Mr. Carey are in a class of their own at Greater Nanticoke Area and I am forever grateful for their mentorship.
In my junior year, Mr. Carey held a “contest” in our journalism class during the first week of school. He wanted students, grouped into couples, to design a front cover page of a theoretical newspaper. The program provided was makemynewspaper.com and it really was the first time I had been given a platform for my creativity to flourish. My partner was a girl in the grade below me and her passion for the project at hand was on par with mine. The outcome of the page won us the competition and we were given the year long job of being the digital editors. Time went on, and my original digital editing buddy began to find her place solely writing, which left me on the digital side, alone. This might sound conceded, but this ultimately allowed my creative and desire ability to meet its full potential. Of course I continued to write my own articles alongside the digital editing, eventually writing an article that made the front page of our last edition of the year.
The summer before my senior year rolled along much quicker than I anticipated. It was about 2 weeks prior to my last, first day of school and I received a message from Mr. Carey. He told me we were moving the paper online, something that we had talked about the entire year prior. The site builder of choice was SNO Sites, which is a student and newspaper version of WordPress (WordPress is powering this site). I spent the two weeks before my senior year working on the site and creating sample pages to hopefully have a jumpstart on the year.
Before I knew it and the new year rolled around. It was already 2018 (half way through my senior year) and I really hadn’t written any big pieces for The GNA Insider. I knew I had to write at least one big article before I left the school for good, and Mr. Carey gave me the opportunity to write an article for a local paper The Citizens’ Voice, which is the most viewed paper in Northeast Pennsylvania. I wrote the article about the journey of our small high school paper from a traditional physical newspaper to a successful and thriving online paper (article linked here).
The spring sports season allowed me to take our school’s camera out, and the results really wowed me. I went from casually taking photos with my phone to taking live action shots of fellow students in fast paced sports with a semi-professional camera. (The camera was a bit dated. It was a Canon Rebel T3 with the kit wide angle (18-50mm) and a zoom lens (50-180mm). Some of the pictures can be found here. Alongside photo taking, I also began to build a passion for sports reporting.
All of that brings me up to the present.
I’m currently freshman journalism student at the USATODAY.com #1 rated journalism school in the country, Emerson College. I’m a writer for The Berkeley Beacon.